Earning the CEM designation is a game changer! IAEE interviewed graduate Rachel Peterson, CEM. Read her journey on earning the CEM designation and why she became CEM game changer!
Hometown: Boulder, CO
University of Education: University of Colorado
How has the CEM designation helped in your career?
The CEM designation has helped me broaden my knowledge of the industry in ways I didn’t know would be applicable to my day-to-day! In sponsorship, I already knew we overlapped with every department, but I only had a surface level understanding of how so. Now I truly feel like I understand how sponsorship relates to each and every aspect of the event industry.
Why is it important to maintain the CEM designation?
It is important to maintain my CEM designation, so I maintain my relevance in the industry. I want to know what is happening and changing so I continue to be sharp in my career!
What made you want to obtain your CEM designation?
I wanted to obtain my CEM designation for the increased knowledge, networking and of course, boost to my resume!
What advice would you give to an aspiring individual who wants to apply for the CEM program?
I would advise you to take as many in-person classes as possible. While the online courses are a great option especially in times of needed flexibility or budget restrictions, the in-person connections and learning are hard to match!
How did you start your career in this industry?
I started my career in this industry when one of the families I babysat for in high school asked me if I would want to work a few weddings one summer! They owned a catering company, so I started doing everything from prepping food, to serving, to decorating throughout high school. From there I always had side gigs in events until after college when the trade show world officially presented itself to me and I dove in!
How have you made a difference with your show or with working with a client by applying the knowledge you gained by obtaining your CEM designation?
Every single class I took gave me several ideas that I could directly apply to my sponsorship world. Whether it was a new opportunity that helped me bring in more revenue or solution to a recurring problem that operationally made the machine work better, the CEM classes opened my eyes to other ways of doing things that were directly applicable to by every day.
What was it that you did or implemented right after obtaining your CEM?
A great example that comes to mind was that I implemented a project management system for my team to be able to implement and track everything we do more efficiently! In sponsorship, we interact with a multitude of clients, vendors, and internal team members so in one of the CEM classes I learned a lot about how to do this via new software programs out there rather than a myriad of spreadsheets and emails.
What did you like most about the CEM Learning Program?
I really enjoyed meeting other people in our industry! Their experiences and insights have helped me endlessly, plus its always good to broaden your networks in the events world.